Insurance cancelled for Catholic Cathedral, Arts Centre

7:26 pm on 23 August 2011

Insurance cover has been cancelled for Christchurch's Catholic Cathedral and Arts Centre which were badly damaged in the February earthquake.

The Catholic Church says Ansvar Insurance will pay out on the existing policy but will not cover the cathedral for further aftershocks.

Spokesperson Simon Pascoe will not say how much the building was insured for, but says it was covered for its replacement value.

He says the amount of damage that has been done is unlikely to be made worse by further aftershocks and the money that is paid will be useful in rebuilding or repairing the church.

Ansvar Insurance says the cancellation means the cost of the damage has reached the sum the cathedral was insured for. Once repair work begins, the company would look to provide contract works insurance for the church.

Ansvar says it will pay out on the existing policy on the Arts Centre, but will not cover the complex for further aftershocks.

The centre's director, Ken Franklin, says the buildings were insured for close to $100 million and suspects the quake related costs are well in excess of that. He fears continued aftershocks may cause further damage.

Mr Franklin says, however, Ansvar Insurance has been working with the Arts Centre to discuss other ways of insuring the complex.